The Tahoe Film Fest returns in December with all proceeds from the festival benefiting the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC). Although films premiering at the highly anticipated cultural event are largely environmentally focused, feature presentations cross over a number of different movie genres.

“As we celebrate the fifth Tahoe Film Fest, we’re proud of our growth within the local community as well as in the film industry,” said festival director Robert Roussel. “Netflix, National Geographic Films, Lionsgate, and other film companies are showing very good support.”

Kicking off the festival on Dec. 5, critically acclaimed divorce drama Marriage Story is led by Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver, backed up by an all-star cast featuring Laura Dern, Alan Alda, Ray Liotta, Merritt Wever, and Julie Hagerty, directed by Academy Award nominee Noah Baumbach. The film will be shown at the Incline Village Cinema.


Falling in line with the underlying theme of the festival, this year’s environmental films include: Sea of Shadows, The Map of Paradise, Artifishal, The River and the Wall, The Story of Plastic, The Condor & The Eagle, Pollinators, Right to Harm, Eating Animals, The Need to Grow, Honeyland, and N. Scott Momaday: Words from a Bear. Films will be screened at Incline Village Cinema and Northstar Village Cinemas.

“The people that live in Tahoe care about sustainability and it shows,” Roussel said. He continued, explaining the team is doing “the best we can to educate the young people and students about the environmental problems and solutions that surround us.”

UC Davis TERC education and outreach director Heather Segale told Moonshine Ink the program is especially excited about sharing the film The Story of Plastic at the festival. “[We] are conducting microplastic research at Lake Tahoe and planning for a plastic pollution reduction campaign in collaboration with the Tahoe Water Suppliers Association and Sierra Watershed Education Partnership nonprofit,” she said. “The story of plastic pollution is particularly timely and important to start a community dialogue.”

Roussel said festival organizers try to bring some variety to the film fest so the audience can experience other types of films.

“This year, we’re screening a selection of music documentaries at the Crystal Bay Crown Room — Echo in the Canyon, Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice, David Crosby: Remember My Name, and Clarence Clemons: Who Do You Think I Am?” Roussel said. “There is an exciting Latin sidebar highlighting Raul Julia: The World’s a Stage, Harvest Season, Collisions, and Chicuarotes, a new film directed by Gael Garcia Bernal. These films give our audience a perspective on different lives and culture.”

The festival wraps up on Dec. 8 with a showing of The Two Popes at the Incline Village Cinema. Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce give flawless performances in this intimate look at a historic turning point in the Catholic Church.

“The UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center is excited about this year’s Tahoe Film Fest and appreciative to be the beneficiary of the Tahoe Film Fest ticket proceeds,” Segale said. “All of the funds will support science education and research at Lake Tahoe and will help us keep the UC Davis Tahoe Science Center in Incline Village operating and provide science-based education programs for over 14,000 locals and visitors annually.”

INFO: Tickets and showtimes at; for UC Davis TERC info at


Main Image Caption: FEATURE PRESENTATION: Honeyland is one of 12 environmentally focused productions to be screened at the fifth annual Tahoe Film Fest. Photo by Lujbo Stefanov


  • Juliana Demarest

    Juliana Demarest is a Jersey girl with ink in her blood. She fell in love with print journalism at a young age in the '80s when her Uncle Tony would take her to "work" at his weekly paper. In 1997, she co-founded a weekly newspaper in North Jersey. One day, she went to photograph a local farmer for a news story. She ended up marrying him and leaving journalism to become a farmer's wife. In 2010, they packed up their two children and headed to Truckee in pursuit of the outdoor life. She didn't realize just how much she missed journalism until she joined Moonshine in 2018 after taking time off to be mom. Connect with Juliana

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